Drawing Near

A Pastoral Perspective on Biblical, Theological, & Cultural Issues | The Personal Website of James B. Law, Ph.D.

#persecution Archive



June 2014



The Unpopular Promise

Written by , Posted in Church Life, Devotional

In recent days, many of us have followed with great interest the story of the Sudanese woman, Mariam Ibrahim, who was sentenced to death. Her crime? She was found guilty of apostasy because she converted to Christianity from Islam. In addition to the death penalty, she was also sentenced to receive 100 lashes for adultery for marrying a Christian man.

Giving her story global traction has been the presence of her children with her in prison, a 21 month old boy and her daughter who was born in prison last month. Thankfully, we have received encouraging reports of an appeals process and it is expected that Mariam will be released soon.

Christians have always been comforted by the promises of God found on the pages Scripture. We treasure these promises as they strengthen faith and resolve and give to us hope to press on.

However, there are some promises that we would like to ignore. The promise of persecution is one we would like to put on the shelf, but if we would follow Jesus Christ faithfully, we are promised suffering and persecution in this life.

My ministry was inaugurated in some of the roughest sections of New Orleans. In 1989, I pastored a church in St. Bernard parish and on one particular day I was involved in neighborhood evangelism. As I was talking with a man in his front yard, I heard yelling behind me. I turned and saw an enraged man coming at me yelling obscenities and wielding a knife. He spewed hateful and profane threats and promised that he would cut me in pieces. (more…)